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Tuesday, September 27, 2022
<p><span>Kevin Lemos, a 19-year-old computer engineering freshman and Trump supporter, talks to the media as Susan Shapiro, an anti-Trump protester, holds anti-Trump signs in front of Gainesville City Hall on </span><span class="aBn" data-term="goog_1022282306"><span class="aQJ">Friday, January 20, 2017</span></span><span>. “There’s two of them and hundreds of us,” Shapiro said. “We’re here to stand up for our views on inauguration day.”</span></p>

Kevin Lemos, a 19-year-old computer engineering freshman and Trump supporter, talks to the media as Susan Shapiro, an anti-Trump protester, holds anti-Trump signs in front of Gainesville City Hall on Friday, January 20, 2017. “There’s two of them and hundreds of us,” Shapiro said. “We’re here to stand up for our views on inauguration day.”

Outside Gainesville’s City Hall on Friday, only the sound of cars driving by could be heard.

As Donald Trump held his hand on a Bible and was sworn in as the 45th president of the U.S., dozens of protesters shared in a moment of silence outside the government building.

Then they spoke up.

“I wanted to come here to be involved, I think it’s important to let people know that we’re not alone, nobody is alone,” said Kate Barnes, 37.

“I came because I’m very concerned about the Russian involvement in the election. It’s very disturbing and I just think that something should be done about this. It’s very obvious,” said Ligia Ortega, 44.

“I think people need to get over it. They need to wait until he makes a mistake until they pounce on him, because right now, it just looks like they’re all crying,” said Brett Jaffe, 20.

protest 2

Kim Wheeler, an anti-Trump protester, reacts to a speech given in front of Gainesville City Hall on Friday, January 20, 2017. “I’m scared of Trump,” Wheeler said. “Particularly his cabinet picks. We need people to stand up together.”

About 150 people - most but not all in staunch opposition to Trump - attended the protest, organized by Gainesville: City of Resistance, a group created following Trump’s Nov. 9 election win over Hillary Clinton.

Members of the community took turns addressing the crowd, some calling Trump an illegitimate president.

They chanted in unison: “We resist and we stand united.”

Barnes held a sign that read “White supremacy sucks ass (not in a good way)”. Ortega held a sign that read “Putin’s Puppet.” Jaffe, near the back of the gathering, held a Trump sign.

As one administration makes way for the other, the divide between voters on either side of history was palpable.

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“They’re wasting time, they’re being hypocritical and it’s gotten to the point where I know a lot of them are good people and have good hearts, but there are a lot of people in here that also cause trouble,” Jaffe said.

Wearing a red “Make American Great Again” hat and waving a giant American flag, Kevin Lemos, 19, said he believes unity can be achieved, and Trump is the man to do it. He said Trump’s policies will benefit every American.

“I came to show support for the ideology he stands behind, and him as the commander-in-chief of the United States,” the UF computer engineering freshman said.

protest 3

Kevin Lemos, a 19-year-old computer engineering freshman and Trump supporter, talks to Kathy Concannon, an anti-Trump protester, about the proposed wall that Trump wants to build. Hundreds of people gathered in front Gainesville City Hall to protest the inauguration of President Trump.

A group of about 30 protesting UF students, participating in a walk-out, later joined the group after marching from campus to city hall.

On campus, students hovered around any TVs tuned to the inauguration.

Inside the Reitz Union, a group of about 100 students gathered to catch a glimpse of their new president.

Dominique Lindsey-Gonzalez, 21, said she felt unmoved, and even confused.

“I guess I was hoping to feel more compassion or feel more moved,” the UF sustainability studies senior said. “I don’t know what the common goal we are working towards is.”

Kevin Lemos, a 19-year-old computer engineering freshman and Trump supporter, talks to the media as Susan Shapiro, an anti-Trump protester, holds anti-Trump signs in front of Gainesville City Hall on Friday, January 20, 2017. “There’s two of them and hundreds of us,” Shapiro said. “We’re here to stand up for our views on inauguration day.”

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